Rachael Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore: Bog Olinger has a big chance in Relkeel Hurdle on NYD

Betfair Ambassador Rachael Blackmore
Rachael has four chances over Monday and Tuesday

Rachael Blackmore has two chances at Punchestwon on Sunday before she goes to Cheltenham for two rides on New Year's Day, and here you can read her exclusive thoughts on each...

  • Monty's Star to improve for debut over fences and step up in trip

  • Aspire Tower goes well at Punchestwon

  • Bob Olinger is in great from ahead of Relkeel Hurdle


Punchestown - Sunday

12:45 - Monty's Star

I'm looking forward to riding Monty's Star again over fences in the opening beginners' chase at Punchestown on Sunday.

He put up a really nice performance at Fairyhouse four weeks ago on his first run over fences. That was a very good beginners' chase and he was right there at the final fence. He was only beaten just over three lengths in the end by Corbetts Cross, and he was just behind Three Card Brag, who is set to line up against us here again.

A half-brother to Monalee, Monty's Star should be able to improve for that run, his first run over fences and his seasonal debut, and the step up in trip from two miles and five and a half furlongs to three miles should suit him well. I hope that he can run a big race.

14:15 - Aspire Tower

Aspire Tower did well in a good beginners' chase at Thurles last month to finish third behind Il Etait Temps and Ho My Lord, with Monbeg Park behind us in fourth place, and he goes back over hurdles here.

This is a very competitive race, there are some high-class horses in the line-up, but Aspire Tower is a high-class horse himself, and he has been in good form at home since that Thurles run.

He goes well at Punchestown, he won his maiden hurdle there as a juvenile, and he is a much more relaxed horse now as an older horse than he was as a youngster. He should be well up to running a good race.


Cheltenham - Monday

12:20 - Innatendue

I'm at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, where I start the day off by riding Innatendue for John McConnell in the opening maiden hurdle.

I have never ridden her before, but she ran well to finish second in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham in November. She stayed on well up the hill to get to within a neck of the winner Cannock Park, who made all the running, and who ran in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Aintree on Tuesday.

I hope that she will be able to improve for that run, her seasonal debut. She's the only mare in the race, she gets the mares' allowance, and the fact that she ran so well there, on her only run to date at Cheltenham, is an obvious positive. There is stamina in her pedigree, and the way that she finished off last time, I'm hoping that the step back up to two and a half miles will suit her.

15:15 - Bob Olinger

I'm looking forward too to riding Bob Olinger in the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle. We were delighted to see him back at Navan the last day, he did really well, he battled on strongly to get the better of Zanahiyr and win the Lismullen Hurdle.

He came out of the race really well, so hopefully he can build on that now. We know that he goes well at the track, and this extended two and a half miles is a good distance for him.

It's only a four-horse race, but it's a competitive race, and we have to give 7lb to Marie's Rock, who won the Mares' Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and who won this race last year. But Bob is in great form, and I hope that he can go well.


Now read Tony Calvin's New Year's Day Racing Tips.


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